Victor Kwesi Mensah, 28, was arrested at Washington Dulles International Airport on Saturday after U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers discovered a stash of psychedelic narcotics in his baggage including psilocybin and LSD. Mensah is better known by his stage name as a rapper, Vic Mensa.
According to a CBP press release, Mensah arrived on board a flight from Ghana early on Saturday morning. For reasons unexplained, his baggage was examined a second time. During a secondary baggage examination, CBP officers discovered about 41 grams of liquid lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), about 124 grams of psilocybin capsules, 178 grams of psilocybin gummies, and six grams of psilocybin mushrooms concealed inside Mensah’s luggage.
Mensah’s father and extended family are from Ghana, and the artist frequently zig-zags between Africa and Chicago, among other places.
Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority (MWAA) Police officers were alerted and charged Mensah with felony narcotics possession charges. MWAA officers took custody of Mensah and seized the drugs.
CBP leaders urged flyers to throw away their drugs before entering the airport. “Travelers can save themselves time and potential criminal charges during their international arrivals inspection if they took a few minutes to ensure that their luggage is drug free,” said Daniel Escobedo, who serves as Area Port Director for CBP’s Area Port of Washington, D.C. “Narcotics interdiction remains a Customs and Border Protection enforcement priority and we remain committed to working closely with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners to ensure that those who transport illegal narcotics into the United States are investigated and prosecuted.”
While traveling with cannabis on domestic flights is one thing—carrying any sort of drugs on an international flight is a more serious matter. Let it be known, however, that the Psilo psilocybin mushroom cubes found in Mensah’s stash contain only microdoses of psilocybin with 0.14g of psilocybin per piece—which isn’t exactly enough to send a person into a trip. At that small of doses, the psilocybin gummies probably cause no more than a mood change. The other products he was in possession also come in microdoses.
Given that he was caught with the drugs in microdoses, it’s quite possible he was using psychedelics for medical reasons. In one study published months ago in the journal Nature, people who microdosed psilocybin exhibited lower levels of depression, anxiety and stress across gender. As it turns out, Mensah himself opened up about his battles with depression and drug addiction in his 2018 song “10K Problems.”
Mensah recently branched out from his hip-hop roots to form a punk rock and rap band named 93Punx, which released an ICE protest song as well as another single with Travis Barker. The price tag from his recent legal woes might hit his pocket soon. But recently, he enlisted Chance the Rapper and Wyclef Jean for the track “Shelter.”
Don’t test the CBP when it comes to drugs, especially if it’s an international flight.
CBP officers processed more than 650,000 travelers on average last year, who arrived at airports, seaports and land border crossings. CBP officers and agents arrested an average of 25 wanted criminals every day at ports of entry located across the U.S. See what else CBP accomplished during a typical day in 2021.
Visit CBP Ports of Entry to learn more about what types of items were seized by CBP’s Office of Field Operations.
Psilocybin is legal for medical use decriminalized in the state of Oregon—the first state to legalize the psychedelic for medical purposes when voters approved Measure 109 in 2020. Cities in an additional six other states decriminalized psilocybin mushrooms at the city level.
Decriminalization efforts going on around the country would also decriminalize LSD and other psychedelics. Several major cities across the U.S. have moved forward already. California Senate Bill 519, for instance, would decriminalize psilocybin mushrooms and LSD—as well as DMT, mescaline and MDMA.
Drop the charges.